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SEATTLE-Several groups have lent their support to local seniors to the tune of $11.9 million. Senior Services of Seattle/King County reports this week it has received grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Boeing Co., Microsoft Corp. and The Seattle Foundation.

All four donations will help build a senior center and 25 low-income, senior housing units in Belltown. Plans for the new Belltown facility have been developed and refined during the past 18 months.

“Our capital campaign is energized, and we are off and running,” says Jan Knutson, president and chief executive officer of Senior Services. “These gifts represent a positive and affirming message that seniors are family in this community, and that seniors matter. Due to the generosity of these four philanthropic leaders, we have now achieved 56% toward our total campaign goal and we will soon be able to break ground.”

Major components for the Senior Services Comprehensive Capital & Endowment Campaign include:

– An 8-story mixed-use building located in Belltown with the first three floors devoted to program and administrative support space for Senior Services. The remaining five floors will be devoted to 25 units of housing for low-income seniors.

– A range of Senior Center upgrades and capital expansion consisting of furniture, computer, and van purchases, the addition of an elevator at Central Area Senior Center, and a complete renovation at the West Seattle Senior Center.

– Purchase of additional vans and freezers to support expansion of Senior Services’ Meals On Wheels and Minor Home Repair programs.

– Endowment to cover future ongoing operational expenses, which will allow the agency to direct a larger portion of funding directly to program and Center support.

The low-income senior housing portion of the Belltown facility, already financed through support from both local and statewide public sources, will be ready for occupancy by December 2002, with Senior Services moving into new program and administrative space shortly thereafter.

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